A Shop Of One’s Own

My first blog post. I suppose the biggest fear or hurdle, as I would call it, is that I would be putting on paper something boring or downright uninspiring. With that being said, I am of the thinking, the author of a blog, or writer in general, has the luxury of being able down to write words that come to mind, tell a story, and really the love of writing is all that matters. You can call it a creative outlet. Whether it is met with a positive nod, or a definite no, getting over the fear of judgement is a constant battle. No matter what we do, how we battle those insecurities, it seems the worry of judgement creeps into our conscience and rears its ugly head. With that out of the way my friends, here it begins, as I dive in headfirst with thoughts of this and that. Things I have learned, mistakes I have made, and how I have managed to grow a business I never dreamed was possible. I sincerely thank you for taking a few moments out of your day to give this a read.

I remember years ago when I was in my late teens, visiting a shop on West 4th in Downtown Vancouver. It was a funky incense smelling boutique that showcased the coolest clothing I had ever seen. The garments were displayed in such a way that I felt like a kid in a candy shop. This feeling of excitement all encompassed me as I wandered through the shop admiring all of the beautiful fabrics sewn into unique pieces of clothing. Each vignette showcased the most stunning antiques, and combined with the clothing, told a story. It was so compelling, I find it difficult to put into words. I do remember being a bit grumpy though because I so wanted to purchase an authentic boho lace skirt. My then-boyfriend didn’t fuss over me when I popped out of the change room wearing this fabulous flowy skirt. I felt defeated.

When we left that shop I found myself in a mood that was a mix of frustration (because I didn’t buy the skirt) and complete awe by what we had just experienced. Imagine being the owner of a shop like that! A shop that was your very own creation from the ground up. A shop that made people who walked through the door so happy and almost giddy with excitement. A shop where customers became friends bearing coffee and chit chat was the buzz of the shop. New styles were unpacked, discussed, and tried on to see how they fit. Purchased gifts were wrapped in pretty paper. Catalogues were poured over like the latest fashion magazine. Who knew going to work could be so much fun! Of course, I never ever gave any thought to those days of poor sales, spreadsheets, stacks of invoices, leases, accounts payable, ordering mishaps, lost shipments, the list is a mile long.

Over the years, subconsciously, I had compartmentalized that overall shop experience. I knew one day I would have time on my side and I could revisit that whole concept of a shop. Through marriage, houses, dogs, and babies my life was fulfilled in so many ways I never thought possible. When finally, moments spent on my own were becoming a frequent luxury, I began to dream….dream of owning a shop.

One reply on “A Shop Of One’s Own

  • Patty Harrigan

    Dear Jeanie,
    I loved reading this memory of yours when you visited the store on West 4th!
    It reminded me of when we were teens and how you seemed to intuitively know how to mix and match prints, solids, and accessories. You always had an eye for design, colour, textures, and the feel of fabrics. I used to admire how naturally elegant and cool you were! No wonder you have such a lovely shop and have been able to share your love of beautiful things with so many others. You have been blessed with such a special gift-that of uplifting the spirits of others through your artful displays of clothing and home decor in your charming and inviting shop! I wish you and your family love and continued success! I’m glad you found your calling early and have made a wonderful destination for so many others to enjoy! xo

    Reply

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